Fact Check: Compilation Of Storm Videos Does NOT Exclusively Show April 2024 Storm That Caused Dubai Flooding

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Compilation Of Storm Videos Does NOT Exclusively Show April 2024 Storm That Caused Dubai Flooding Incorrect ID

Does a video circulating on social media show clips of the rainstorms that caused widespread flooding in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates; Bahrain, and Oman in mid-April 2024? No, that's not true: The compilation video contains clips of both real and computer-generated scenes, one from North America. Reverse image search results show several of these clips circulated before the record-breaking April 2024 flooding in the region surrounding Dubai. A few clips in the compilation were attributed to the April storms.

The compilation video (archived here) on TikTok by @disaster3338 on April 17, 2024, was captioned:

Storm and heavy rain in dubai today #dubai #rain #flood #uae🇦🇪

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Apr 23 20:53:12 2024 UTC)

Old and mislabeled footage

Throughout the 1:06-minute-long video, a sound effect track "Thunderstorm (environmental sound)" plays with additional special effects sounds like those used to represent dinosaurs or Godzilla. This masks the original audio of the video clips used. The composite image below shows screenshots from the compilation video that were falsely represented as showing the mid-April 2024 weather event that caused flooding in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image of TikTok screenshots taken on Wed Apr 24 22:46:32 2024 UTC)

The opening scene in the compilation shows a storm in Bahrain, a region that was impacted by the April 2024 storms. Proving this footage is at least 5 months old, this video was posted on TikTok by @disaster788 on November 2, 2023, but misidentified as a Dubai storm. The same video clip was posted on YouTube on November 3, 2023, by @Coolboy51 and identified as being in Bahrain -- verified by the Catamaran Towers visible in the background.

At 12 seconds into the compilation, a lightning bolt is shown striking Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world. A watermark is present in this clip, and the lightning bolt pictured matches a video posted on @vertigodubai's TikTok on March 5, 2024 -- predating the flooding storms.

On April 8, 2024, @thegioingam09 posted a video compilation on TikTok that included three of the scenes in the compilation. The video begins with the clip (appearing at 15 seconds in) of a tree blowing down, and immediately following (from the 0:23 mark ), of a roof blowing off a building into the street. The video finishes with the scene (from 26 seconds in) of men in a lobby wearing face masks, filming a storm raging outside the glass doors. Lead Stories was unable to identify the location of these clips, but the videos predate the mid-April floods.

Footage at 30 seconds in showing palm trees blowing in strong winds was found on Shutterstock, titled, "Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall." Michael was a Category 5 hurricane at the time it made landfall on the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018.

The screenshot showing a dark tornado (pictured above) appears 37 seconds into the video. A Google reverse image search points to many duplicates of this falsely labeled compilation but also to an April 18, 2024, post on X by @aleximenez pointing out alternate editions of this video that were posted in 2023 marked as Miami, Madrid and the U.K. -- but this tornado is not real. On October 7, 2023, the tornado video was posted by Surrealvideo, which posts "Best Edits and Real Videos for you!" on their channel.

Seemingly authentic footage from the April 2024 weather event

On April 16, 2024, @dd1etm21 posted a video on X showing a chaotic scene of pedestrians trying to take cover from wind-driven rain as the ceiling of an underpass collapsed and the sky was an ominous shade of dark aqua-green, indicating a strong thunderstorm. Lead Stories was unable to identify the exact location for this footage.

Scenes from the Dubai Airport, which appear at 41 seconds into the compilation, were posted on X by Breaking Aviation News & Videos on April 16, 2024.

The clip of outdoor furniture blowing off a high-rise balcony from 45 seconds in, appears in a recap carousel posted on Instagram on April 16, 2024, by the UAE-based account @tiddingofficial.

At 49 seconds in, scenes from inside the Mall of The Emirates shows the Flying Tiger store with a waterfall cascading past the storefront. Both the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates experienced flooding on April 16, 2024.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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